What is 3D printing?
3D printing or Additive manufacturing is a process of making a three-dimensional solid object of virtually any shape from a digital model. 3D printing is achieved using an additive process, where successive layers of material are laid down in different shapes. 3D printing is also considered distinct from traditional machining techniques, which mostly rely on the removal of material by methods such as cutting or drilling (subtractive processes).
A 3D printer is a limited type of industrial robot that is capable of carrying out an additive process under computer control.
The 3D printing technology is used for both prototyping and distributed manufacturing with applications in architecture, construction (AEC), industrial design, automotive, aerospace, military, engineering, dental and medical industries, biotech (human tissue replacement), fashion, footwear, jewelry, eyewear, education, geographic information systems, food, and many other fields. One study has found that open source 3D printing could become a mass market item because domestic 3D printers can offset their capital costs by enabling consumers to avoid costs associated with purchasing common household objects.
What is 3D Printable Models?
3D printable models may be created with a computer aided design package or via 3D scanner. The manual modeling process of preparing geometric data for 3D computer graphics is similar to plastic arts such as sculpting. 3D scanning is a process of analyzing and collecting data of real object; its shape and appearance and builds digital, three dimensional models.
What file format can printing?
File formats often depend on the type of 3D modeling software used, but there are many common formats:
.stl - STL is a file format native to the stereolithography CAD software created by 3D Systems.
.iges - The Initial Graphics Exchange Specification (IGES) (pronounced eye-jess) defines a neutral data format that allows the digital exchange of information among Computer-aided design (CAD) systems.
.obj - OBJ (or .OBJ) is a geometry definition file format first developed by Wavefront Technologies for its Advanced Visualizer animation package. The file format is open and has been adopted by other 3D graphics application vendors. For the most part it is a universally accepted format.
.3ds - 3DS is one of the file formats used by the Autodesk 3ds Max 3D modeling, animation and rendering software.